It has been 7 days since I last raised my voice (in anger) to any of my kids. It turns out that they are perfect little angels and that I am the one with the problem. Who would have thought? All this time I’ve been placing the blame on them. THEY are driving me crazy. THEY are too loud. THEY are too demanding. THEY never do what they are told. THEY complain about everything.
Turns out that THEY are not the problem at all. THEY are kids. Perfect, fragile, kids. I, LibertyDee, I am the problem.
It’s only been seven days but what I have learned in that short time about the kids and more importantly about myself is tremendous. Let me break it down:
What I have learned about my kids:
- They will get in the car if I get in and turn it on.
- Just because they roll their eyes doesn’t mean they are not going to help anyway.
- They will yell less at each other if I am not yelling at them.
- They are willing to listen and are even more attentive when I explain something in a normal tone.
- They really, truly appreciate that I’m trying not to yell. My boys actually thanked me!
What I have learned about myself
- I’m a control freak. I didn’t know this about myself but when I have caught myself getting angry with the kids it has been because I’m not getting what I want, when I want it, how I want it.
- I’m more likely to snap when I’m tired. I find the most challenging times have been right after dinner when all I really want is some peace and quiet but there’s none in sight.
- I am capable of dealing with issues without raising my voice.
- Being respected and being feared are two very different things. By yelling I am teaching the kids to fear me.
- Yelling had become habit. I was yelling without even thinking about it. Now that I am aware of it, it seems unreasonable to raise my voice in the daily scenarios I find myself in with the kids.
As you can see from the list above, They did not need to change, it was not them that was the problem, it was I who needed to make a change and it was I who was the problem.
I know that this does not mean that I have been miraculously cured from yelling and that this doesn’t mean that I will never raise my voice ever again. But if I can do it for seven days why not do it for seven more?